Thursday, January 8, 2009

Petless in Bloggerville

After posting about the cat and dog my parents' adopted one year for Christmas, I had a few readers ask if I had furry animals of my own at home.

I have my horse, which I really don't consider a "pet." I suppose I could classify him that way, although I think he's deemed "livestock." So no, unfortunately, I officially have no pets at this time. Well, that is not entirely true. I had this guy and his buddy visiting over the holiday break. But even they returned to the land of schoolchildren this week.

Do you think it is funny that I talk to them? I really do! When I get to school I say (imagine a high pitched cutesy motherese voice) "Helllllo fishies! Are you hungry? Do you want your breakfast?"

And they bubble bubble blub blub and come to the top of the bowl. I know. So Sad.

Years ago, I had gerbils as a class pet. Which by the way, I would never recommend. Ever. They were supposed to be two males. But they reproduced. And I ended up bringing one of them home to live with me (after 3 batches of babies.) His name was Lucky and he was quite the character. Not exactly good cuddle material while watching a movie, however.

If I could adopt a dog right now, I might adopt this female Beagle. She is a good size for my current space and lifestyle. And I like how Beagles are "big dogs" in "little dog" bodies.

Her name is Emma. Isn't she darling? Beagles are not easy dogs. There are thousands more Beagles online for adoption and sitting at rescues than any other breed. Most people don't know what they are getting into. I would. Having watched my family raise a Beagle, through the ups and the downs, I know they are intelligent, loving, and loyal dogs. But they are hounds, and with that comes a lot of hound quirks.

Here are the reasons why I don't have a pet. First, my landlord will not let me. I asked her several years ago, when a family member was trying to find a home for her toy Chihuahua, which happened to weigh 3 lbs and was litter box trained. That seems convincing, right? She still said no. She said she had not had good luck with pets in her rentals in the past. I suppose I understand that. Trust me, I see all the cat vomit Paint Girl cleans up on a regular basis. Animals are messy. But more than anything, I just don't think my landlord is an animal person.
This is unfortunate because I live in the perfect place to have an indoor cat. Or a small dog, as I have plenty of walking parks nearby.

My second reason for not owning a pet is cost. I can not afford any more pet food or potential veterinarian bills. I do have a very big mouth to feed not far from here. Whinny whinny, snort snort.

There you have it. For now, I am pet less. And that is pretty shocking, considering what a pet-loving person I am. Someday, I will have cats and dogs again. And maybe even a gerbil. But just one. As a matter of fact, I won't even consider dating anyone who isn't an animal person. It just isn't an option.

Besides, with all the furry friends that slobber, whine, lick, purr, drool, bark, scratch, neigh, and growl at me between my parents' place and Paint Girl's mini-farm, I find myself truly blessed and surrounded with pet love! Without actually having to clean up any vomit!


  1. Glad you posted this ,I was just trying to explain to my niece that a beagle puppy is not the best choice for her right now, she is in first year university (studying education!) But I know beagle while they can be great dogs are often a little challenging and she just doesn't have the time. For her right now I am thinking either no pet as sad as it is or a cat.

  2. I should also she does have a horse that stays with me

  3. "I know they are intelligent, loving, and loyal dogs."

    and they are also kind. I have yet to see a Beagle that is truly aggressive. I did therapy work at a nursing home for awhile with my oldest Corgi and if I were ever to do that again, it would be with a Beagle. They are pretty pretty dogs, the drop ears are less intimidating to many, and they are short haired which makes for easier bathing.

    I've also had several Beagles in class and they were *wonderful* students. Very food motivated and eager, confident dogs.

    I like the size and the leg length of Beagles too, that makes them a useful size of dog.

    Yep, I'd have a Beagle in a NY minute!

  4. Friends of ours have beagles and I have an uncle who raises beagles for rabbit hunting trials. My grandfather used to have some as well. Cute little dogs, the puppies are just adorable.

    And I think that's what gets them in trouble... people forget that that adorable puppy turns into an energetic hound whose bark carries FOREVER and are highly motivated to follow scents.

    I've always had pets and when I went to college and was forced into petlessness I was miserable. Then Junior year I snuck a hamster into my dorm and Senior year we convinced our non-pet friendly landlord to allow us to have bunnies, hamsters, rabbits and a mastiff. I'm sure he was wondering what he had gotten into renting that house to us girls :o)

    Pets are great if you have the time and finances for them. They can be very labor intensive but their devotion, funny personalities and suprises make it all worth while. I should know, living in a condo with a dog, a cat, a hamster, 2 chinchillas and 6 bettas!

  5. It's unfortunate that you're unable to have an animal companion where you're living, right now. You do have access to lots of critters though, as you said, so that's a blessing.

    Me, I couldn't be without an animal in my home. When I go into someone's home who has no animals, it feels like something is literally missing. The home feels a bit dead to me (no offense to anyone).

    When I got my first bunny, I lived in a pet-free apartment. I smuggled him in and there are a couple of funny stories of times when my landlord was over and my bunny was hopping down the hallway behind him...

    Re: dog adoptions, there's a book by Judith Halliburton called Raising Rover. In it she gives a brief synopsis of the different dog breeds, their exercise needs, whether they're good with children, training challenges, etc. It's a very good reference book for someone who's looking for a dog and want to find the right 'partner'.

  6. That just means you can live vicariously through your sister and all your friends with pets. Now worries, at some point you'll be in your own place and you can have whatever you want. As for the fish thing and the never date a non animal person lemme tell you a story. My dh, prior to us marrying, did not own any animals. Asthma and all was an issue. When we moved in together he got a fish. One of those fighting fish. One day he changed the water and forgot to put in the dechlorinator. It proceeded to die a horrible death within 30 minutes. He was depressed for no less than 4 months. We still don't mention it. Oh and all the animals in our house (3 dogs and a snake, don't ask) they are all his. He wasn't an animal person until I came along. Now none of the pets in our house are mine. Go figure.

  7. The other thing that is hard when you have pets is getting time away from etc. My lil' Cindy Sue is with me 24/7 and it works fine until I have to be somewhere like a training class in Portland next month and I'll be gone for 4 nights!! My big dogs can just stay outside and they're fine, but I'm afraid lil' Cindy Sue will get eaten by coyote, badger, bobcat, or Great Horned owl...leaves me in a quandary as to who is going to pet sit her!

    But, that is the only down side in see in having all of our pets...I can't even imagine what it would be like around here without all of them.

    For you, the time will be right someday for pet ownership...or should we say that a pet will own you someday!

  8. Ummmm . . . I'll never get a beagle again.

    They are too smart. They get into everything, even when you think you've dog-proofed your house. I have stories for days -- and the vet bills to back them up! LOL! They are soooo opinionated and bossy. They figure out how to open doors (and if it's garbage night, good luck getting them back!).

    My beagle is 15 years old, but people think he's a puppy (until they realize he can't hear). He is sweet when he wants to be, but everything must be on his terms, or else! They are also difficult to potty train.

    He does provide good stories and he's been my contstant companion since I was 19 years old and he's pretty loyal. Around nine, he settled down a bit, and has been a lot easier to be around since then. He is super cute, I'll give him that!

  9. I think that it is great that you realize the time, money and responsibility that goes into having a pet. So many people don't, and that is one of the reasons there are so many dogs in rescue/adoption agencies today (that and over-breeding!).

    Your day of pet ownership will once again come, and at least you will be prepared for whatever your little companion may be! :)

  10. Yep... time, money (and most important, I believe) committment! Some people have lots of time and money but lack that last one! Sad. That's how we ended up with most of our animals, in fact...cast offs (3 bunnies, 2 goats, 2 horses and 1 dog all came to us that way!) Love every last one of the little monsters. :)

  11. And you get to dog sit too!! That is nice. It's like being the grandparent, where you can spoil the pet like crazy and then give it back!!

    And Beagles are supposed to be great family dogs, or so says animal planet. But they do bark a lot.

    Between my father in law who lives about 200 feet from me, we have 17 horses, 4 dogs, one cat, and a goat.

  12. {Andrea}~ I completely forgot to mention that I also petsit on the side! I have three "clients" right now. So I do get to live in pet-filled homes temporarily at times, anywhere from a short weekend up to a month! The tough thing is I have grown to become quite attached to these pets, like Abbie the lab who is getting up there in age...... :(

  13. Having lots of pets can be quite challenging at times. But I wouldn't change it for the world. Yes, cleaning up cat puke everyday from my bulimic cat is frustrating but I love him dearly.
    The only thing I will change next time is not having more than 2 cats. I love cats but 5 of them is just too much!
    PG- you already claim one of my dogs as "yours" and I think he claims you as "his"!


    Having said that....beagles are also high energy dogs, basically a nose on four paws.

    They should never be off lease or out of enclosed area, as they are ruled by the nose.

    I love my beagle Molly, but when she gets a scent, her mind is on that drug. HA!

  15. Hi--Thanks for stopping by my blog and for leaving comments....oh how I love comments!!! I really enjoyed reading through your blog so you can bet I will be back soon!!'s snowing!!! :)

  16. Oh our beagle gave this family enough stories to last a lifetime. He was neurotic...he had asthma...he refused to potty train...and if he could weasel his way out of the house it was hell to catch him. But he had a cute little face and he was always so happy!

    I always swear that when one animals goes that there will never another one as it is so hard to lose this furry family member. But my life is just too quiet without one.

  17. Man alive, I grew up with pets galore. My brother raised coondogs, my mom raised greyhounds...I loved cats! Guess how long my cats lasted around this household?? After the 2nd one got outside, mom said no more cats. Those dogs did in my cats, all the chickens and pretty much anything else that moved. Most lived in kennels with runs, but they still managed to get out.
    My dad was always saving some type of wild animal, raising it and eventually they all returned to the wild. By the antelope DO NOT adapt the same way baby deer do!! LOL

    I got a Great Dane for my HS graduation present and had him for 5 years(he was 3 or 4 when I got him). After that, I did not have a "pet" for many years. It was actually really nice. But then Megan got older, I got more settled and voila...we are a pet household again. As I write this, I have two fat dogs stretching and groaning on their beds. These days, I cannot imagine NOT having pets. But I can tell you...there are times when I remember how nice it was to just be able to lock the door to the house and not have to worry about household pets.

  18. Not sure if I were you... I would let "my boy" know that you mentioned his name and the word livstock in the same sentence. He probably thinks of himself as "your child"!
    Your Desert Rose Auntie!

  19. I don't think it's funny you talk to the fish. For some reason praying mantises like my kitchen window, and I talk to them all the time.

    Just don't go sleeping with the fishes, if ya know what I mean.

  20. I love beagles, but they can be challenging to train and housebreak.

  21. Beagles are adorable. The 13 inch ones always look like puppies.


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